Midwinter Food Traditions

Every year my family and I gather round to grind homegrown corn, pick the best looking corn husks, make masa, and fill and wrap the tamales to make these tasty little bundles. Making tamales is an annual tradition in our family for our midwinter celebrations.  This year some friends came and joined in on making of the tamal; many hands make light work. There are lots of little steps to making the tamales so it helps to have lots of people to make it fun!  

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It feels so rewarding to cook and eat food that we grow and knowing that the many prayers which have gone into the plants nourishes our bodies. Food is medicine. This round of tamales we used our Pueblo blue and white concho corn. It makes delightfully fluffy and tender tamale and tortilla dough. We don’t make them often but when we do they are a special treat!  The flavor of tamales will forever remind me of cold weather, family time, and lots of laughter.

In Mexican culture tamales are traditionally made around Christmas time as part of the celebrations.   “Tradición,” Ms. Lagunas explained. Tradition. Making tamales, she said, is about rekindling the ritual of women gathering in the kitchen to make something cherished and eaten all throughout the holidays — at intimate gatherings and at open-house parties, where they are brought on paper plates or in plastic bags, to be eaten then and to be eaten later.” if you would like read the full interview with Justina Lagunas and New York Times here is a link.

Go over to the recipe section and find our tamale recipe.  If you decide to make these, don’t forget to use the hashtag #nativehearth so I can see your creations!  We are thinking of hosting a couple of tamale making workshops at our farm, so let me know in the comments if you would be interested in coming!  Also I am working this spring to launch my YouTube channel, so this could be one of my videos, I will keep you posted.  Please let me know what you might want to see featured there!

Happy New Year!  


7 thoughts on “Midwinter Food Traditions

  1. Love reading your beautifully written blog, Maizie.
    I would love to share in a workshop experience making tamales with you.
    XO Annie

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  2. Hi, Maizie! Lovely job. Did you know that in Costa Rica they make a type of empanada where they add a bit of salty dry cheese to the masa, pat it into rounds, add a spoonful of bean filling, then fold the dough over and crimp the ends? Not tamales, but very tasty when you don’t have corn husks on hand.

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